Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Wednesday, requested that a lawsuit seeking an increase in the pay for judges in the nation be dismissed by the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Abuja.
In a counter-affidavit and preliminary objection, the AGF argued that Mr. Sebastian Hon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) lacked the necessary locus standi to bring the lawsuit before the court.
Malami‘s opposition to the lawsuit was filed on the day Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osagie had scheduled to hear a report on a suggested settlement outside of court.
On June 6, the court had agreed to an appeal by the National Assembly, a defendant in the litigation, for parties to be permitted to explore an alternative way of settling the sticky problem of poor remuneration of judicial officers across the federation.
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The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, or RMAFC, was added as a defendant in the lawsuit along with Malami, NASS, and the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, who announced the plaintiff’s presence at the resumed proceedings on Wednesday with more than 30 other SANs and NBA President Olumide Akpata, stated that he had received Malami’s objection to the lawsuit.
Therefore, he urged the court to permit the matter to continue so that the plaintiff’s originating summons may be heard.
Malami’s attorney, Mr. Ekene Elodimuo, also stated that the AGF was eager to raise problems with the plaintiff during the hearing after filing the required paperwork.
The NJC, however, requested for a brief recess so that it could submit its reply.
Consequently, Adegoke informed the court that he was briefed to handle the matter, less than 24 hours before the sitting.
He further noted that he would need time to study the originating summons to be able to file the necessary processes.
There was no opposition for his request over an adjournment which led to Justice Obaseki-Osagie, scheduling June 28 for the next hearing.
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Source: Ripples Nigeria.